Author: Rozsa Gaston
Publisher: Stay Playful Press
Type of book: Budapest, Europe, Hungary, clean romance, purpose, faith, relationship, hope, winter, long distance relationship, being together, one year, activities to do together
Year it was published: 2014
Publishers Weekly says "The traditional healing properties and beauty of the thermal spa baths...are the true stars of this thoughtful romance."
Manhattan businesswoman Kati Dunai lives a life of international glamour. Unfortunately, she's too busy to enjoy it. But when she visits Budapest to settle her father's estate, the city's leisurely culture speaks to Kati's soul. While luxuriating in her hotel's sensuous thermal baths, Kati is drawn to another foreigner: a rugged Dutchman named Jan.
As Jan shows Kati Budapest's unhurried pleasures, Kati introduces Jan to a slow pace of intimacy that fuels the fires of passion. Her insistence on keeping a physical distance creates space for true feelings to grow, a place of love and respect.
But Kati must return to New York to her busy career as an international conference planner. Jan wishes to continue their relationship, but between the distance, a family tragedy, and a series of misunderstandings, the two find that their slow-burn romance may not survive outside their private Budapest cocoon. Can they make the necessary sacrifices to keep their love alive?
Main characters include Kati Dunai and Jan Klassen. Kati Dunai is half American-half Hungarian who went to Hungary to settle her father's estate and not for romance. She is old fashioned, thoughtful, and is confident in what she wants and needs when it comes to a man. Jan Klassen is best described as brave in approaching Kati, respectful and very thoughtful. He is also jealous easily and a bit insecure when it comes to Kati and his financial situation. There are other characters such as Jan's son, Kati's work colleague and a cute dog, but they are relegated to secondary characters than to primary ones.
Love can be forged through activities
The story is written in third person narrative from Kati's and Jan's points of view. What I appreciated about the book are the romantic elements, compare and contrast between Jan and Kati's work colleague and the fact that characters respected one another's wishes and didn't push one another into things they were not ready for. I think I would have liked there to be more dating scenes between the two, at least in the times they did meet after the Budapest meeting, and also, it seems as if in the first half of the book the author is a bit uncertain of herself while in the second half she is confident and the story is best described as brisk.
(From the book)
Rozsa Gaston writes playful books on serious matters. Women getting what they want out of life is one of them. She studied European intellectual history at Yale, and then received her master's degree in international affairs from Columbia. In between, she worked as a singer/pianist all over the world. She lives in Bronxville, NY with her family.
Other books include The Ava Series: Paris Adieu, Part I and Black is not a color, Part II, Running from Love, Dog Sitters and Lyric. Her upcoming novel, Sense of Touch is a fictionalized story of Anne of Brittany and Queen of France. Visit her at www.rozsagaston.com to learn more
I am sorry it took me awhile to read and review the book. Having said that, if a reader is looking for a heroine that is strong, sensitive and seems to be from another era, then look no further than Budapest Romance by Rozsa Gaston. I've previously reviewed her Sense of Touch, a historical fiction about Anne of Brittany which I've liked a lot. Budapest Romance was written few years prior to Sense of Touch, but already the hallmarks of whimsical tone, a woman that carries herself with class and a sweet and gentle romance are embedded within the pages. I liked that the male hero was respectful of heroine's boundaries and the connection between the two is created through words rather than deeds. I also enjoyed learning about Budapest Hungary and how different it is from America. I also liked the slow pacing of the story and how despite the deadline of them separating, the author is not in a rush to separate her characters. I do feel that the heroine asks a lot of internalized questions in what seems to be every few pages.
This was given to me for an honest review
4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)